The Oregon Ducks and Ohio State Buckeyes football teams played a fantastic College Football Playoff championship game, with the No. 4 team walking home with a resounding victory. After eeking into the playoff picture in the final week of the season, the Buckeyes beat the top two teams in the country to win the college football title. And bettors couldn’t be happier.
The Buckeyes opened as 7-point underdogs against Oregon, with the line switching to 6.5 points during the week of the big game. As the game began, bettors began putting more money on Oregon, shifting the line to Oregon as a 7-point favorite once again.
What happened? Ohio State’s defense held Oregon to an uncharacteristically low-scoring game and helped the Buckeyes walk away with a national championship. Those who put money on the Buckeyes walked away with a pretty penny, especially if they put it down early in the season.
After losing their starting quarterback in the preseason, Ohio State plummeted to 40-1 favorites to win the title. Bettors at this sportsbook would’ve made strong gains for the championship game alone, but if you were one of the lucky few who put money on the Buckeyes two months ago, you’re laughing today all the way to the bank.
Backing the underdog is a role many bettors like to play when the odds are on the fence. Clearly that strategy would have paid off this season with Ohio State. The odds aren’t likely to be quite as dire when Ohio State opens the 2015-16 college season, as most of the impact players are Freshmen and Sophomores. And let’s not forget: they still have three quarterbacks who could start for most any other team.
Indeed, Ohio State will face some big decisions this spring and summer as they look at which QB will start next year. It will be hard to deny Cardale Jones a serious look, because while he’s only started three games, they were the biggest of the Buckeyes’ season – and all victories. But Miller and Barrett will both return as well, and who’s going to fault Urban Meyer from taking a look at them?
The even bigger question for bettors: will you take the inevitable odds next season for the Buckeyes to repeat? Play it right and you’ll stand to make some nice gains. Meyer, on the other hand, really won’t be gambling with any of this three quarterbacks, as they’re all stars in their own right. The biggest gamble of all, in fact, may be whether one of those three QBs decides to transfer to a school that desperately needs a starter next season. Like, ironically, the Oregon Ducks.